This Makes Me Very Angry…

July 30, 2008

Grab yourself a bowl of happiness and a comfy chair – it’s blogging time!


Hello friends and hello all!


Before I begin my digressions for the day, I wish to share with you all the greatest news in the world. No, it is not that I finally own the one toy I have wanted for 28 years, (more n that later) but this:


The greatest cartoon character EVER, Marvin the Martian, is getting his own movie. With my new toy and this news, I am officially 8 years old for the day.


So what to recall about yesterday? Ah yes – reunion! I’d like to say that it goes without saying, but it doesn’t so, I’m going to say it – thank you all for coming. Like the process before it, it would not have been the same without you. And to Denise, Constance, John, David L, and Jackie – you were all missed, and thought of throughout.


It was somewhat fortuitous that I had checked my emails as I got to London, as it alerted me to the fact that my friend Lucy was attending that evening.


For those who don’t know, Lucy is pregnant. During the course, she was kind enough to lend me a t-shirt which had actually been a gift to her, for her baby, for something we needed to do as part of the process. In poor taste it may have been – the slogan on the front was ‘diaper loading in progress’ or something to that effect – but nonetheless, it was a touching gift to a person she barely knew at the time.


Me being me, I managed to spill coffee all over it within minutes, and ruined the shirt. Lucy maintained that it didn’t matter, but principals are principals, and when I learned that Lucy was coming, I dragged Mike off with me to Selfridges, (who met me early) to the baby section, where I finally got a chance to make amends with an absolutely darling dressing gown/towel sort of thing with matching boots/socks. People fawn over babies, but when I saw it, and especially when I saw Lucy’s reaction when I gave it to her, well, it was enough to make a person melt.


The evening itself was marvellous. I managed to get a chance to talk on stage, which I am sure you can all appreciate I totally hated, (note: heavy sarcasm) and it was great to see so many partners, curious onlookers, and past people all joined in something so wonderful. Perhaps most satisfactorily, the people who were thinking about/about to go on the course really got a sense of what can be achieved. I am sure, walking in, that it must have been a bit overwhelming.


Of course, the evening finally gave us a chance to present to our good friend Celia her farewell gift as she flew off to America. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of sheer pride I felt as she was moved to tears by the efforts of myself, and the group as a whole. I may have co-ordinated and done some cutting and sticking, but without the efforts of everyone who contributed – be it through a quote or two, a picture, or scribbling something in at the last minute – it would not have been the fine and fitting gift that it was. I really hope, with every ounce of sincerity I can muster, that it has the desired effect.

And then, my dear, dear beardless friend Graeme did something for which touched my heart – coming out of Hoffman, we set ourselves a number of goals to achieve in the first month. Some were as simple as ‘go dancing’, or ‘singing lessons’, or ‘shout something at the top of your voice every day’. Amongst the many (many) I set myself was to buy a childhood toy I had always wanted – Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots. ( Unfortunately, after a quite extensive search (and this included another toy I had always wanted, a ‘Mr Freeze’) I was coming up desperately short – it seemed, in this world of computer games and stabbings, there just wasn’t room for two plastic robots hitting each other until a head popped up, and I was unable to find them anywhere.

I had been talking to Graeme about our first month aims by email, and mentioned this as a source of frustration for me. Well, old Graeme, what did he do? Well, first he sent me an eBay link – but I don’t use eBay. Well, instead, he just won the auction for me, bought them, and gave them to me – AND IT WAS THE GREATEST FUCKING PRESENT EVER!

Graeme, if you’re reading this – thank you so much. You made a childhood dream come true.

A short walk later, and we quite literally converged on Pizza Express in London’s Baker Street – wine was drunk, Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots were furiously played, and, unsurprisingly, Pizza was consumed. There were times when I would catch a glimpse of someone in conversation with another person, and it was so wonderful to see the ease and comfort of us all. Yes, we’re all in the real world now, away from the confined freedom (oxymoron alert) of Florence House, and yes, we all parted to our different lives come bedtime, but it is without doubt – these people are all family. All for one, and one for all indeed.


I entered Baker Street station with my new toy underarm, and admiring (or confused) looks from everyone I passed. Finally getting on the Northern Line, and joined by Zein, who was going somewhere near me, and heading home, it was asked of us what exactly we were carrying. 5 minutes later, and the two late-twenty-something gentlemen next to us were 8 years old all over again too, happily pounding away at my Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots game, laughing and smiling. It was a real Hoffman moment, to be able to provide such childlike happiness to two complete strangers. I dare say both of them will be on the internet today, trying, like I was, to buy this wonderful toy.


I can’t tell you how much that made me smile.


After finally getting to sleep around 3am, this morning was a struggle. My plans to have breakfast in town were quickly reduced to having a long breakfast at home, and then finally, getting up at the last minute. Alarms came and went pretty quickly, but bed was just too darn comfy to get out of. Finally, I made it out, knowing I had to meet my mother in town for a coffee, and made it to Selfridges in London’s Oxford Street in the nick of time, stopping only to replace my sunglasses having given mine to that handsome bastard Dom the night previous. (They did look much better on him, in fairness)


My mother being my mother insisted on buying me a pair of jeans and two pairs of shoes – what’s a boy to do? – before we sat down, had a quick coffee, and then it was off to work to complete my half day. And that’s where you join me, tapping away on a keyboard with not a care in the world.


My Hoffman brothers and sisters, I say this without reservation – I love you all. The light comes as much from within as it does from shared experience, and I hope to continue to share these things with you, be it here in my blog, or in another Pizza Express in another part of the world.


Until tomorrow,

Closed Box



One Response to “This Makes Me Very Angry…”

  1. Carrie Says:

    Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, too cool. For fun, I browse though eBay every once in awhile, looking for old childhood toys. I never buy them, because really, what would I do with them? But just seeing them brings back a flood of memories. Great gift.:)

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